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I have a very narrow kitchen cupboard I'd like to make some changes to (add shelves maybe). Almost any change will require drilling holes though, and there's not enough room for a standard electric or manual drill, so the first problem to solve is how to drill holes. It's only around 170mm wide.

How can I drill a hole with only around 170mm of space?

The holes would only need to be about 12-15mm deep.

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What's on the other side of this cupboard? If you need the hole to go through to the other side, perhaps there you will have more room. –  Eli Iser May 31 '12 at 5:31

5 Answers 5

up vote 19 down vote accepted

They sell what is called an "Offset" drill. Instead of the chuck being inline with the motor, it is turned 90°.

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They also make drills where the chuck can be turned to get into tight spots. They also make an offset attachment for most drills.

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If you have access to a Dremel, you can get a right-angle adapter for it:

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Disclaimer: I don't actually own this adapter so I don't know how big it is, and the specifications page doesn't say! Make sure it will fit if you decide to buy it.

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They make these adapters for standard drills too –  Steven May 28 '12 at 19:33

If you are going into wood or drywall, you might be able to use a Bradawl, which wouldn't be much larger than a standard screwdriver.

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Thanks! The material is plastic laminated and is particle board underneath I believe, so I think it would probably work quite well. –  Highly Irregular May 29 '12 at 0:10

I've not used the Bradawl mentioned in another answer, but I have used a push drill. As you push down, the bit rotates clockwise, cutting the hole. When you release, the handle springs up and the bit rotates in the other direction. So you are making a push/pull motion.

A quick search turned up several different sizes of push drills.

Larger Push Drill

Small Push Drill

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How does this let you get into a tight space like a right-angle drill? –  auujay May 30 '12 at 21:02
    
It doesn't... I have an old one of these and I think it needs a good 18" or so of clearance to work, way more than even a large electric drill. –  Mike Powell May 31 '12 at 20:11

Maybe an electric drill flexible extension can be of use for you. http://www.amazon.com/Eazypower-30167-40-Inch-Flexible-Extension/dp/B0009XAFXU

And not answering directly your answer, but offering an alternative, you can think in using heavy duty adhesives and brackets instead of drilling.

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